A QbD Approach to Continuous Tablet Manufacture

A QbD Approach to Continuous Tablet Manufacture

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com ScienceDirect Procedia Engineering 102 (2015) 443 – 449 The 7th World Congress on Particle Technology (WCP...

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Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

ScienceDirect Procedia Engineering 102 (2015) 443 – 449

The 7th World Congress on Particle Technology (WCPT7)

A QbD approach to continuous tablet manufacture Tim Freemana,*, Andrew Birkmireb and Brian Armstronga a Freeman Technology Ltd, Tewkesbury, UK GEA Pharma Systems, Columbia, Maryland, USA

b

Abstract The pharmaceutical industry is looking to continuous processing to enhance production efficiency and product quality, in line with guidance from regulatory agencies. It is therefore necessary to define and link material quality parameters, at all stages during processing, to those of the final product. This study investigates the performance of a continuous granulation system and shows how key properties of the granules, which are a direct function of the operational conditions of the granulator, can be identified, measured and linked directly to the Critical Quality Attributes of the tablets manufactured from these granules. © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Institute of Process Engineering, Selectionand and peer-review responsibility of Chinese of Particuology, Selection peer-review underunder responsibility of Chinese Society ofSociety Particuology, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). of Sciences (CAS)

Keywords: Powder; Caking; Powder Rheology

1. Introduction Wet granulation is a common unit operation in the pharmaceutical, food, FMCG and chemical industries [1]. It converts fine powders into granules with a much larger particle size and is usually carried out batch wise in either a fluidized bed or a high shear mixer. This yields benefits that include, improved flow properties, reduced segregation (especially of active ingredients) and hence better content uniformity. Additional advantages are reduced dusting, increased density and lower packed volume (since larger particles can pack more closely than smaller cohesive ones

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-168-485-1551; fax: +44-168-485-1552. E-mail address: [email protected]

1877-7058 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Selection and peer-review under responsibility of Chinese Society of Particuology, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2015.01.185

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Tim Freeman et al. / Procedia Engineering 102 (2015) 443 – 449

that tend to trap air) which lead to improved compression properties. It is for these reasons that wet granulation is employed in a significant number of tablet formulations. However, there are a number of issues relating to the quality control of any batch operation – not least the control of the consistency of the final product in terms of content uniformity, particle size distribution and granule strength – which, in-turn, impact the quality of the final tablet. Historically many batches have required re-work or have even been scrapped due to them failing to meet the required standard. The pharmaceutical industry is looking to continuous processing to enhance production efficiency and product quality, in line with guidance from regulatory agencies [2-4]. Whilst process control in continuous manufacture is arguably more straightforward, it becomes necessary to define, measure and link material quality parameters, at all stages during processing, to those of the final product so that the processing regime can be optimized. This has proved challenging when applied to particulate systems due to the immense complexity of the relationships between the particulate properties (size, size distribution, shape, texture, granule friability/strength etc.), the properties of the final product (tablet content uniformity, strength, weight) and the unit operations (mixing, granulation, milling tableting). Recent developments in both continuous granulation combined with advanced powder/granule characterisation mean that the necessary powder/granulate quality parameters can now be precisely defined and linked to manufacturing procedures and ultimately to tablet quality. This study shows it is possible to target specific tablet properties using different combinations of process conditions, and that a defined granule property can be used to predict a characteristic of the tablet – a significant step towards a full Design Space specification. These results also provide the opportunity to develop scaling criteria for batch granulation processes. Once a specific flow property – the Basic Flowability Energy (BFE) – has been linked to the optimal Critical Quality Attributes for the final product, the manufacturing requirement is no longer focused on particular equipment types or operational settings. As long as the wet granule attains the target BFE, the tablet quality can be assured. Nomenclature BFE

Evaluated by rotating a precision blade down a helical path through a fixed volume of powder. During this downward traverse, the torque and axial force acting on the blade are measured and the resistance to flow is calculated and expressed as a flow energy.

2. Methods and Means A preliminary study was conducted on granules manufactured using the ConsiGma-1™ continuous granulation/drying system (GEA Pharma Systems) from two formulations (dibasic calcium phosphate [DCP] based and N-acetyl-p-aminophenol [APAP] based). The flow properties of the granulate were measured at all manufacturing stages, including granulated wet mass, using an FT4 Powder Rheometer ® (Freeman Technology). The ConsiGma-1 (Figure 1a) is the laboratory scale version of the ConsiGma concept. This system consists of a patented continuous high shear granulator and a small dryer capable of running campaigns of a few hundred grams up to several kilograms. It is capable of producing consistent granules in a continuous manner, without significant start-up and shut-down waste. It incorporates a unique combination of integrated controls to enable the manufacture of granules with wide ranging properties. The low residence time of the twin screw granulator means that process variables, such as screw speed and water content can be adjusted, with almost immediate effect on the properties of the wet granules. The FT4 (Figure 1b) is a universal powder tester that provides automated and comprehensive measurements of bulk material characteristics [5]. This information can be used to quantify the effect of process changes on output material properties and is therefore valuable for process and product development. The FT4 measures a number of characteristics of the bulk material specialising in the measurement of dynamic flow properties but also incorporating a shear cell, and the ability to measure bulk properties such as density, compressibility and permeability

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(a)

(b)

Fig. 1. (a) Laboratory scale ConsiGma-1™ continuous granulation/drying system; (b) FT4 Powder Rheometer®.

The results from this initial evaluation are shown in Figure 2 and show the change in flow behaviour (BFE) with respect to the operational parameters of the granulation system (screw speed, water addition and feedrate). Earlier studies [6, 7] have demonstrated how the properties of the granules are affected by the processing conditions in batch granulation systems and indeed how these properties relate to the properties of the resultant tablet [6].

(a)

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Tim Freeman et al. / Procedia Engineering 102 (2015) 443 – 449

(b)

Fig. 2. (a) Effect of screw speed and water content on flow properties of APAP granules; (b) Effect of screw speed and feed rate on flow properties of DCP granules.

From these results it could be seen that granules with extremely repeatable flow properties could also be generated from a continuous granulation system. Figure 2a shows how the flow behavior of APAP granules, as represented by the BFE values, changes with respect to granulator screw speed and added water content; Figure 2b shows how a the flow properties of a DCP based formulation change with respect to water content and feed rate (production rate). From these data, it becomes a simple exercise to target a specific BFE defined granule quality by means of adjusting the various processing parameters – water content; granulator speed; manufacturing (feed) rate. The initial study was then extended to include the manufacture and evaluation of tablets based on experimental batches of granules of the acetyl-para-aminophenol (APAP) based formulation. Four combinations of process conditions were employed to produce granules with different Basic Flowability Energy (BFE) values, as measured by the FT4. Table 1 lists the processing parameters used in each of the four conditions.

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Tim Freeman et al. / Procedia Engineering 102 (2015) 443 – 449 Table 1. Combinations of process conditions chosen to target specific granule properties

Condition 1 Condition 2 Condition 3 Condition 4

Screw Speed (RPM)

Powder Feed (kg/hr)

Liquid Feed (g/min)

Moisture (%)

450 750 450 750

11.25 20 6 9

15 36.7 20 30

8 11 20 20

Specific quality/flow characteristics were targeted and were achieved using contrasting variable process conditions (combinations of water addition rate, input powder feed rates and granulator screw speed). The resultant granules were dried, milled and lubricated in an identical manner prior to tableting in a GEA Modul™ S rotary tablet press. Figure 3 shows the Modul-S rotary tablet press and the inset photograph demonstrates typical tablets produced during the study.

(b)

(a)

Fig. 3. Modul S rotary tablet press (a) and examples of the manufactured tablets (b).

3. Results & discussion The results from the flow property testing and evaluation of the resultant tablet hardness are shown in Table 2. The tablet hardness is presented as an average of 10 measurements; the BFE was measured three times for each set of process conditions. Table 2. Wet mass, granule and tablet properties.

Condition 1 Condition 2 Condition 3 Condition 4

BFE – Wet Mass (mJ)

BFE – Dry Granules (mJ)

BFE – Milled Granules (mJ)

BFE – Lubricated Granules (mJ)

Tablet Hardness (kPa)

2217 2133 3172 3342

1623 1973 4610 4140

1283 1463 2268 1951

1180 1115 1118 1055

7.09 7.7 13.5 11.02

Figure 4 shows the BFE values for each condition. The BFE of Conditions 1 & 2 generated values around 2200mJ when testing the wet mass, whereas Conditions 3 & 4 had BFE values around 3200mJ. As the granules progress through the manufacturing process, the relative BFE values at each discrete stage remain consistently grouped – the BFE’s of Conditions 3 & 4 always higher than those of 1 & 2. This observation suggests that granule properties are dependent on manufacturing conditions, but importantly it is possible to produce the required granule quality using more than one manufacturing route.

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Fig. 4. Flowability results of the granules for the four processing conditions at each stage of manufacture

Fig. 5. The relationship between granule BFE and tablet hardness.

Figure 5 shows the relationship between the flow properties of the granules at each stage of manufacture and the hardness of the tablets. The correlation is extremely strong between tablet hardness and the BFE for the dried and milled granules with an R2 value of greater than 0.99. The slightly poorer (but still significant) correlation for the wet mass and lubricated granules can be attributed to the presence of the additional components – water or lubricant

Tim Freeman et al. / Procedia Engineering 102 (2015) 443 – 449

(MgSt) – which are known to have an exaggerated influence on the bulk flow properties considering their low concentrations. It is therefore possible to conclude that there is a direct relationship between the bulk flow properties of the granules at all stages of manufacture, as quantified by the BFE, and a critical quality attribute (CQA) of the final tablet. 3. Conclusions This study shows how it is possible to generate specific tablet properties using different combinations of process conditions – a significant step towards a full Design Space specification. These results also provide the opportunity to develop scaling criteria for batch granulation processes. Once a specific BFE has been identified as giving the optimal CQA for the final product, the manufacturing requirement is no longer focused on particular equipment types or operational settings. As long as the wet granule attains the target BFE, the tablet quality can be assured. Future work will assess the correlation between granule properties and other CQAs of the tablet, such as content uniformity, weight variation and dissolution. References [1] B. J. Ennis, W. Witt, R. Weinekoter, D. Sphar, E. Gommeran, R. H. Snow, T. Allen, G. J. Raymus, & J. D. Litster, Solid-Solid Operations and Processing, in: D. W. Green & R. H. Perry, (Eds.), Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook, 8 edn, McGraw-Hill Professional, New York, 2007. [2] International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, Quality Risk Management, Q9, adopted by the FDA, Federal Register, 71 (2006) 32105-6. [3] International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, Pharmaceutical Quality System, Q10, adopted by the FDA, Federal Register, 74 (2009) 15990-1 [4] International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, Pharmaceutical Development Q8(R1), adopted by the FDA, Federal Register, 74 (2009) 27325-6. [5] R.Freeman, Measuring the flow properties of consolidated, conditioned and aerated powders - A comparative study using a powder rheometer and a rotational shear cell, Powder Technology, 174 (2007) 25-33. [6] O.E. Cassidy & W.I. Thomas, Characterisation of wet masses using a powder rheometer, Poster Session 1 - Pharmaceutics., Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 54 (2002) 25-46. [7] T.C. Freeman, and B. Armstrong, The characterisation of granulation wet masses using powder rheometry, 5th International Granulation Workshop, Lausanne, Switzerland, 20-21 June 2011.

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